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How to plan a One Day-inspired holiday

David Nicholls' 2009 novel, One Day, has inspired numerous adaptations, the most well known being the 2011 film starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess as well as the recently released 14-episode Netflix adaptation. Whether you're a fan of the book, the film or the Netflix series, the story of Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew has left millions - including us here at HolidayPirates - utterly obsessed. And, if you've ever had the urge to visit the locations featured in the Netflix version, you're in the right place! Read on to discover how to plan your own One Day-inspired holiday.

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When it comes to the Netflix adaptation of One Day, starring Ambika Mod and Leo Woodall, we agree with the masses: we can't get enough. Just like the novel, the series spans the 20-year relationship between Emma and Dexter. Each episode checks in with them on a particular day each year: 15 July. We follow their lives through their ups and downs, with the ultimate question of will they/won't they at the back of our minds the entire time.

Don't worry, you won't find any big spoilers about the storyline here! But one of the most unique aspects of the novel and series is the fact that we meet the characters in many locations over the years. Edinburgh, Rome, Paris, Greece: they all feature as a backdrop to some of the biggest scenes in the story. And whether you're keen to do a multi-stop holiday including all the locations or just one, we're here to help you plan your One Day-inspired getaway.

Just remember to bring along some excellent holiday reading material - just like Emma would!


It makes sense that we start with the exact location where Emma and Dexter meet for the first time. Students of Edinburgh University, they encounter each other at their graduation party and the rest is, as they say, history.

Edinburgh is a fantastic destination for a city break: it's filled with historic attractions, great pubs, atmospheric streets and surprisingly easy access to adventures in nature. Arthur's Seat, which features in the Netflix series, is one such adventurous pursuit. Follow in Emma and Dexter's footsteps (perhaps not hungover like they are though!) by climbing to the summit with your beverage of choice. Make sure you rest a while and enjoy the views over central Edinburgh and beyond.

Two other locations are the courtyard of Edinburgh University's Old College and the incredibly scenic Vennel Steps (a great place to view Edinburgh Castle too).

Once you've taken in the One Day locations, you can go on to make your own Edinburgh memories. Visit the iconic Edinburgh Castle, spend your evenings in traditional pubs, discover your family tartan or take a day trip to Stirling or St Andrews.


Rome is known as a romantic destination at the best of times, and the Netflix adaptation makes this city look especially fantastic. In episode two, Dexter is in Rome and preparing to meet his parents.

Everything looks richly coloured and sunsoaked, with Dexter enjoying the summer warmth by the Fontana dell'Acqua Paola, a fountain built in the 17th century. The most beautiful spot he visits is the Trastevere quarter: filled with streets and alleys lined with restaurants and bars, each scene looks like it could be a painting. If you really want to push the One Day experience, why not stay at one of the two hotels featured in the episode: Bio Hotel Raphaël or Campo de’ Fiori?

After you've wined and dined in Trastevere just like Dexter, you can spend the rest of your stay exploring Rome's many other attractions: the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon or a visit to the Vatican City.


The UK capital features throughout various episodes, so there's plenty to see here if you're after a One Day-themed stay in London. And you'll need to set aside a decent amount of time to do so, as the Netflix show filmed widely across the city!

The lovely Primrose Hill is where Emma and Dexter meet up in episode three, catching up over a bottle of wine. Take it from us: it's easy to spend an entire sunny afternoon here, so make sure to bring your own picnic supplies! Carrying on with the food theme, Emma goes on a date at the Adelphi Bar at Smith & Wollensky, and also meets Dexter for a disastrous reunion at Quaglino’s in St James.

The Savoy makes an appearance as does King's Cross station and Charlton Lido. Later in the series, the all-important Café Belleville is filmed in a cafe called La Maison in Highbury. The only place you can't visit, sadly (or maybe not sadly!), is the fictional Loco Caliente Mexican restaurant that Emma works at; these scenes were filmed at the Old Suffolk Punch in Hammersmith, which is scheduled for demolition!

If you're happy to take a little day trip out of London, there are two additional filming locations about an hour away by car or train. There's Hatfield House, used in episode 10 as the venue for Tilly's wedding, and Benington Lordship, which is used as Sylvie's parents house. Both of these spots are located in Hertfordshire.

Paros, Greece

If episode four had you scratching your head, asking 'which Greek island is that?', we're happy to tell you it's Paros, one of the Cyclades islands. Planning on doing some island hopping, Dexter and Emma arrive in Paros and decide to scrap their travel plans, opting to simply remain on Paros instead.

And we don't blame them! Known for its picture-perfect beaches and the whitewashed buildings found in its harbours and villages, Paros is a top choice for a summer getaway.

Parikia and Naousa are both popular areas to stay on the island - and both of these locations featured during this episode. Split your time between these and relive Dexter and Emma's holiday on the island. Several beaches were used during filming too, and we're sure it won't be a hardship travelling around the island to pick your favourite.


Another shoo-in for a romantic holiday, Paris is the last stop on our One Day-inspired itinerary. The location is equally important in the novel and Netflix series, and we could see ourselves jetting off to the French capital to have our own Dexter and Emma moment.

Paris is the backdrop for episode 12. Emma has an apartment in the city, and Dexter travels by train to come see her. If you're intent on getting as close as possible to having the real-deal experience, the actual apartment is on Rue des Gobelins in the 13th arrondissement. This arrondissement is not a bad choice for a Paris base too; it's known for having historic tapestry workshops, a wealth of Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants and the ultra-modern Cité de la Mode et du Design.

Other shooting locations include Passerelle Emmanuelle Riva, a bridge crossing Canal St Martin, and Rue Pierre Semard in the 9th arrondissement.

Since a lot of the story takes place in Emma's apartment, consider this your chance to fill up the rest of your time with the best that Paris can offer. To take the novel theme further, pay a visit to the famous bookshop, Shakespeare and Company, or grab lunch at Les deux Magots, a café that was frequented by literary greats like Ernest Hemingway and Simone de Beauvoir.

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